Empire State Bldg. Undecided About Honoring Pulaski Parade With Lights
Organizers of the Pulaski Day Parade are still waiting for a response from managers of the Empire State Building about whether they will light the building white and red in honor of the march which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, the Nowy Dziennik reported. The article below is translated from Polish.
For the past couple of years the management of the Empire State Building (ESB) has declined to light the tower in Poland’s colors, white and red, to commemorate the Pulaski Day Parade on the first Sunday of October. The Pulaski Parade Committee is still waiting for an answer although the Pulaski Day Parade is barely a month away.
“We haven’t received a response yet. Our application to the ESB was sent back in May,” says Richard Zawisny, chairman of the Pulaski Parade Committee. He said he doesn’t see much chance of having red and white lights on top of the ESB this year. “The only way to check the status of the application is online. There is no number provided which you can call for more information,” he adds.
Indeed, contacting representatives of the Empire State Building is not an easy task. Numerous phone calls made by our reporter to the PR and communications offices have been unanswered.
Meanwhile, this year’s Pulaski Parade will march along Fifth Ave. for the 75th time. “This is an anniversary parade. It would be really nice if the Empire State Building’s top was lit in red and white to honor the 75 years,” says Dr. Krystyna Szczech, who together with her husband is the Grand Marshall of this year’s parade. Hearing that there has been no response regarding the committee’s application, she said she would inquire into the matter.
Congressman Bill Pascrell (N.J.-D) has intervened twice since last year. “I am writing in sincere and enthusiastic support of the General Pulaski Parade Committee’s request of you to light the Empire State Building in the commemorative colors of red and white in honor of American Revolutionary War Hero Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski on Oct. 6 and 7, 2012. [...] General Pulaski’s importance to the founding of our nation, and the Polish-American community’s contributions to our nation, cannot be overstated. General Pulaski was a brave warrior who saved the life of George Washington in the Battle of Brandywine and ultimately gave his own life during the Revolutionary War,” Pascrell wrote in a letter to Malkin Holdings/The Empire State Building Company, LLC. The letter was sent in the spring, but – as we learn from the Congressman’s office – he hasn’t received a response yet. Rep. Pascrell, who is this year’s honorary Marshall of the Pulaski Parade has promised to intervene yet again in the matter.
The ESB is lit for many reason, including to honor Super Bowl champions, stars, non-profit organizations, ethnic groups or holidays and anniversaries. On Sept. 16 it will be lit in red, white and green for Mexican Independence Day, on Sept. 14 it will be yellow, red and black to commemorate the 55th annual Steuben Day Parade.
Despite the Pulaski Parade Committee’s efforts, the ESB has not been white and red for the Pulaski Day Parade for a couple of years now, although before the building’s board used to respond favorably to the parade’s request to lit the building in their national colors.
The Empire State Building Company’s website explains that the building is “privately owned by Empire State Building Company, L.L.C. (ESBC); it is not owned or run by the City or State of New York” and that “selection as an ESB Lighting Partner is a privilege, not an entitlement.” Submission of the application does not guarantee approval. Applicants have no way of finding out the status of their application. “Follow-up calls, e-mails and/or faxes are not necessary; please assume that the written notification you receive is the final response from ESB.”
Understanding the rules set by the ESBC, but with the important 75th anniversary of the Pulaski Day Parade in mind, many Polish-Americans would like to see the building lit in red and white.
Readers who feel the same and would like to ask the ESB board to approve the Pulaski Parade Committee’s application can use the text below to send a letter to Malkin Holdings:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing in sincere support of the General Pulaski Parade Committee’s request to light the Empire State Building in the commemorative colors of red and white in honor of American Revolutionary War Hero Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski on Oct. 6 and 7, 2012.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Pulaski Day Parade, which annually takes place on Fifth Ave. on the first Sunday of October. This is an impotant day for the Polish-American community during which the community celebrates their culture and heritage.
Fully respecting the ESBC’s right to grant the privilege of ESB Lightning Partner to an entity of your choice, I sincerely hope that you will grant my community the same sense of honor and appreciation as some other ethnic communities and many laudable philanthropic organizations.
The letter can be mailed to: [email protected]
Malkin Holdings/The Empire State Building Company, LLC
350 Fifth Ave.
New York, N.Y. 10118